How to pump for ten minutes + in the surf zone

Here’s former podcast guest Matt Costa’s take on whether or not old guys can pump as well as young guys.


Nice one, noted it down as I think these are great:

  • pumping
    1. trick to pumping is to not pump (learn to glide)
    2. changing pitch of foil is the worst thing to do (causes drag)
    3. lock out your legs, feet together (prevents pitch changes, better rests)
    4. do one big pump, then long glide
    5. pushing against the water, while keeping pitch flat to create forward drive
    6. squat into the pumps pushing the foil really short hard pumps
  • waves:
    1. want consistent, non stop waves (short period swells, close together, nearer together)
    2. wind ruins it (need less than 5kn), offshore is better
    3. no turbulence, otherwise not possible to pump 10min (whitewater, reflections, currents)
    4. ideal is 8-10s period. 6s is wind swell has too much divergence in waves, 8-10s it starts to clean up which is better.
    5. wedge waves are better, allow you to ping-pong between the different directions
    6. need steep faces that don’t break so that you don’t have to pump on the wave
    7. ideally you want a wedge that drops off suddenly rather than long faces, to keep speed and reduce pumping to next wave
    8. pay attention to the spot, ripples make a big difference
  • gear
    1. slower gear leads to shorter ride length, faster gear gives you longer rests
    2. lighter board
  • part 2 - reading waves
    - shallow to deep spots, kick out before the waves diverge when they hit the spot
    - want the shallowest water that creates a wedge with a steep face
    - diagonals ping pong - minimise the distance to pump to next wave
    - running along down the line means you’ll go faster, more speed, less pumping
    - don’t turn sharp off back of wave, keep smooth lines
    - downwind is useful for learning the subtlety (took him from 3min to 58min)

The 50+ excuse doesn’t fly. Old guys can rock endurance sports of all types. Pumping is just another endurance sport.

I turn 48 this month. In two years this excuse might become valid.


Clip from a “Casey Club” call on pump tips.


That’s interesting, many sources say(and I’m thinking foil project episode on pumping and some Dominic videos), that grave digging is a big deep pump, but maintenance pumps are quick flicks. He’s saying something different there it seems…

Somewhat important to note Matt is talking about pumping for prone foiling connections, not flatwater pumping. Staying high on the mast is key for the latter but maybe less critical for prone. Making connections generally means you’re only pumping for about 30 seconds or less between waves most of the time.

1 Like

Yeah I think that is a good clarification, he is basically suggesting you just use good tactics to minimise pumping by reducing time between rests.

I do think high on the mast is pretty critical, so I wonder why he didn’t suggest it.